What is a risk assessment?

​A health and safety risk assessment should be two things:

1. An action plan

Risk assessment is a process of identifying hazards and determining their associated risks. In practice, a risk assessment in the workplace is an examination of what could cause harm to people in that particular environment. The outcome is an action plan which helps employers to focus attention on reducing risks where it is needed and to prioritise any action to safeguard against harm occuring to people.

2. An improvement cycle

Risk assessment in practice is a continual cycle of improvement. Your workplace and what goes on there continually changes, and so too should your risk assessment. The diagram below shows that change, review and action to reduce risks are all key stages in the risk assessment process. This continual cycle helps to ensure that health and safety standards are kept high.

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